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Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Spacecraft Pitched to Obama

A replacement for the Ares I and Ares V is being 'pitched' by a group of rouge NASA rocket scientists reports Popular Mechanics. The new spacecraft designs are known as the Jupiter 120 and Jupiter 232 or the more commonly known by the moniker "Jupiter Direct" or DIRECT or Direct v2.0.


Terence Clark said...

I gotta say, I was a big proponent of DIRECT before and I was excited to see an article on it in my PopMech this month. But to flatly honest, the NASA cronies have some solid points especially regarding the difficulties of man-rating engines and the level of unknowns and optimism inherent in a blueprint level design.

However, these are NASA engineers among whom at least a few are probably on the Ares project and are aware of the difficulty level. Though it is another unknown, I expect there is an acceptable level of due dilligence in the community as a result of the level of internal knowledge of the competing project.

Honestly, if we had the capability to question this back when both were still in blueprint phase it would be a different story, but we already have some serious resources devoted to Ares. The window is by no means shut and sealed, but our opportunity to mothball Ares and fire up the guns on Direct is fading fast.

Steven Smith said...

It really sounds convincing. NASA does not have to start from scratch and readjust their facilities which are devoted to the production of shuttle parts. This is very important if you want to reduce the cost, especially at these times where the public seems to think that spending on spaceflight is like throwing money out of the window whereas it could be used against the economic crisis (Altough this prejudice is not justified, countless people use GPS for example every day)

By the way, a very exciting blog!

Best regards,

Steven Smith

Frederick said...

Cutting the payload means cutting the mission.

Yes it might be more expedient, but bear in mind the idea is to go beyond simply arriving at the moon or mars to plant a flag. We want to pursue the full exploration, exploitation, colonization plan.

To that end you need a heavy lifter.